Protecting your business during divorce

Protecting your business during a divorce is an often high priority consideration; after-all your financial livelihood and ability to rebuild your life may greatly depend on your business.

At 1solicitors our priority is to ensure your interests are properly safeguarded; whether it is you the business owner or you the person who helped the success of that business.

Is a family business considered in a divorce settlement

Businesses, regardless of family owned, are not automatically protected from a divorce financial settlement.

All businesses owned by either or both parties would be considered before making a valuation on the business interest which would form part of the matrimonial settlement.

How is a family business valued within a divorce financial settlement

Valuation of a family business within a divorce can be complex depending on the business structure.

As a starting point, the structure of the company including owned subsidiaries would be assessed before reviewing the financial year accounts to obtain an overview of the balance sheet and profit loss.

A detailed analysis of these documents including further financial disclosure of the company bank statements would allow us to value:

  • Property
  • Land
  • Assets
  • Stock
  • Cash in bank
  • Pension schemes

Further analysis of company house filings would reveal insights into interests.

Protecting your business during divorce

You may want to consider the following in protecting your business during a divorce:

  • Record keeping: keep up to date and accurate paperwork; ensuring personal and business records are separate.
  • Salary: be mindful of paying yourself a lesser in hope of the business providing your retirement -vs- being unable to justify a higher future income being required to maintain your lifestyle
  • Your matrimonial partner: if you’re partner is employed or have an involvement within the business, you may want to consider terminating their position in an effort to limit their claim on the family business.
  • Business strength: where multiple businesses are involved, assess the financial strengths to identify the weak or unprosperous business, despite positive future projections, that emphasis could be placed on during negotiation. You may want to consider the option of selling your shares to an employee to raise capital, if necessary.

Preventative measures in protecting your business during divorce

If you’re not currently facing a divorce but would to like to know how to potentially protect your business during one, then you may want to consider the following:

If a pre-nuptial agreement has not been entered then you may want to consider entering into a post-nuptial agreement that excludes a claim from your business.

Post nuptials can be viewed sceptically if these are drawn up not long before the marriage faces difficulty.

Businesses placed in trust can be considered outside of a matrimonial asset providing there is no ownership or control by either party to th Protecting your business during divorce e marriage. That said, there are methods of being able to pierce the veil of a trust which is a common feature of high net worth divorces.

You could consider defining pre-emptive share rights in the event of your shares becoming for sale to ensure control of your business and future prospects of re-buying the shares.

Arrange a consultation to explore options on protecting your business during divorce

Speak to our high net worth divorce solicitors today to arrange a consultation on 0330 053 7117 or let us call you back.

Did you know that we have family lawyers in Hammersmith, as well as nationally across York, Harrogate, Manchester, Oldham and London so we are never too far from you if you need to pop in for a chat.

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